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Sunday, September 01, 2013


I've always been kind of vain about my finger nails. They used to look like I had a French manicure without having to have one. My once beautiful nails have thinned badly and are cracking, chipping and tearing off at the quick. I did have acrylic nails for several months several years ago. When they were removed, my nails were in a similar condition to what I find them in today. They healed with time but the cause of the problem had been found and corrected. At first, my concern with this instance was one of esthetics but as the condition of my nails has worsened, I am more seriously concerned healthwise. Could my dieting be damaging my nails?

I have ridges and a dark ring above the strip of white at the end of the nail. The white is not as distinct a line as it used to be either . There are streaks running into the coloured part of the nail bed. When I awoke one morning, on one of the nails, the strip of white was twice it's usual length on one side. I don't know if I caught it in the night and pulled it or what but that side is now up from the nail bed farther than the rest of the same nail.

My nails continue to grow but are coming in very very thin and they are slightly tender to the touch.

I've read on-line that the dark ring could be from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and/or Diabetes. I am currently experiencing CHF, and in the past 2 months have been in HF more than not. I am also a Type II Insulin Dependent Diabetic. Those two factors probably explain the ring. I've also read that the thinness, ridges, cracking, etc. can be from a lack of Biotine and while they don't have a firm recommendation on how much one should take, the author figured about 30 mg a day. Daily I take a multi vitamin for women over age 50 and Vitalux, a vitamin for healthy eyes. These 2 vitamin pills give me a total of 90 mg daily. So, I'm stumped. I don't think that can be the problem.

Could my dieting be damaging my nails? One of the articles I read on-line said that ridges can be caused by poor nutrition or malnutrition. I do have Crohn's Disease and most likely do not get all the vitamins and minerals I need from my foods, hence the supplements I take – those mentioned above as well as A, Acidophilus with Biffida, B6, B50, Calcium (lots of Calcium), D (lots of D), Cranberry, Glucosamine Chondroitin, Lutein, Magnesium, and Q10 Coensyme. The diet I have been following has lots of water, 100 grams of vegetables (there are numerous green and yellow ones to choose from), 100 grams of lean meats (eg. lean steak, white chicken, white fish), a slice of Melba Toast, and a fruit, all of which are to be eaten at each meal. What it does not have are dairy, starches and sweets, or processed foods. The diet also has supplements for Potassium and B12. I don't take the B12 because due to surgery I had in 1995 for my Crohn's Disease I no longer have the section of bowel that processes B12 and I therefore have to have a B12 shot monthly.

I used to eat a fair bit of sugar-free Jello. I haven't been having that lately because in monitoring my sodium intake daily, I learned that it contains 70 gr. of sodium per serving. I also learned on-line that gelatin contains MSG – a definite No No for me. I have to keep my intake of sodium below 1200 mg a day and while 70 doesn't sound like much in comparison, pretty much everything but fruit seems to have sodium in it and it adds up very very quickly. Perhaps I need to give up an alternative of some sort and start eating gelatin products again.

For self treatment, I'm using a Nail Thickener by Sally Hansen and a 4 in 1 Treatment by Witchcraft. I have been applying it daily and only removing it with polish remover once a week as that can be damaging to the nails. I have an appointment with my Nurse Practitioner (I don't have a family doctor) but that is some time away yet. I thought I'd do this Blog and see if anyone has any ideas or suggestions. Thoughts anyone?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    There's an excellent book called, The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology by Stephen T., M.D. Sinatra and James C., M.D. Roberts", that goes into detail about specific supplements to take for persons with heart failure.

    When I developed CHF 14 years ago I started learning about supplements to support my heart function, and gradually I put together what basically amounts to the recommendations in his book. Those supplements have helped keep me alive all these years.

    I hope you are able to push your heart failure back, and do well and live a long life.

    1571 days ago
    I would definitely check it out with the nurse or doctor. With the meds and the conditions you are living with I wouldn't just run off and self-medicate.

    I do know that I read the older you get, the more the ridges we were born with, that are basically invisible until you reach the 40s and 50s tend to get deeper and more visible. Also if you shut your finger in the car door or jammed it as a kid you may have damaged your matrix at the base of your nail and that could be the cause, too - but check with your doctor.

    I, too have the "raising" of the nail from the nail bed on my little finger. Mine is from an allergy that is more than difficult to treat since it is under the nail. It' is like eczema or or psoriasis, but it has a different name. I had a dermatologist who prescribed tar and lanolin to eliminate it from my hands. It worked great - stunk, dried my skin out, which is why the lanolin afterwards, but it sure got rid of the allergy (stress). It can't get under the nail, which I didn't have then. So I am stuck trimming the nail down as low as I can in order to reach the area where the allergy likes to show up at. Now if I could just get rid of the stress overload that I thought I was doing real well on - guess not - I'd be able to get rid of the issue under my nail.

    I hope you can eliminate some of your issues soon. Have a great one. Happy Labor Day!
    1661 days ago
    Crohn's is your main culprit, I'd guess, because the food you are eating isn't being adequately utilised...

    By all means, ask your nurse practitioner, and be sure to show her all the research you've done...
    1661 days ago
    I don't know if gelatin Is allowed in your diet but it can be good for nails. I don't think it is because you are dieting I think your body may not be using the nutrients correctly due to your crohns . . I hope things improve
    1661 days ago
    it is good to go and see the nurse. See will do tests make sure that there is not an underlying problem, to me your diet sound OK but you never know so it is worth checking. Have you worn nail polish recently?
    1661 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/1/2013 1:15:00 PM
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